Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has married a Harare businesswoman in a traditional ceremony, news reports and sources said, paying a $36,000 lobola or bride price.
Mr. Tsvangirai, 59, has been linked to various women in the years since his wife Susan died in a car crash in 2009 soon after he became prime minister. In June he told the media he was in love, but did not disclose the identity of the woman.
Independent and state-controlled newspapers on Tuesday quoted the family of Locadia Karimetsenga as confirming that the traditional marriage had taken place in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central, where Mr. Tsvangirai paid lobola of $36,000 and 10 cattle.
Some MDC sources said the payment simply amounted to an acknowledgment by Mr. Tsvangirai that he is the father of the child she is carrying.
ZANU-PF Goromonzi West legislator Beatrice Nyamupinga, sister of the reported bride, told VOA the family is happy Mr. Tsvangirai has married one of their own.
But Tsvangirai spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu there is no truth to the media reports and Mr. Tsvangirai remains single.
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya, who a few months ago urged Mr. Tsvangirai to remarry, commented on Tuesday that Mr. Tsvangirai is a senior public official and should not try to conceal his marital status from citizens.
Traditional healer Gordon Chavhunduka said there should be a national debate on how much should be paid in lobola following the reports of the sum paid by Mr. Tsvangirai and the $48,000 reportedly paid recently by Army Commander Constantine Chiwenga.
But cultural activist Pathisa Nyathi said the $36,000 lobola paid by Mr. Tsvangirai merely reflects his lofty status as prime minister and is "perfectly in order."